Here’s the one thing you shouldn’t do: Accept the current status quo.
Managing remote teams has such a reputation for being challenging that many companies and managers simply stop trying to improve it. If everyone is struggling, why invest energy in something that will never change, right?
But the world IS changing. Modern society continually innovates which leaves you with more tools, resources and insights to help your team—and yourself—function more effectively.
But it won’t simply happen. It’s up to you to take the first step and initiate a move in the right direction. You can have better results because psychology and technology can make you a better manager.
If you’re unsure if the tips below are for you, let’s list some of the main challenges managers face with remote teams:
Of course, these are only some of the problems. What is your biggest challenge that you’ve overcome? Share it in the comments below to help others who face the same.
What are the top tips we suggest? Let’s count them down.
Your key to successful leadership is a combination of what you do and your mindset about your team. Have you tried any of these tactics?
What do you clash with the most with your remote workers? For many managers it’s the frustration of delivered work not living up to their expectation. But did you ever tell your workers what you need?
Many leaders assume their employees know what’s expected of them. This can apply to:
These problems are exacerbated in field work as managers don’t work alongside their teams all the time. What’s the solution? Don’t assume. Give out detailed descriptions of all you expect and put it in writing if possible.
When your team has a clear reference you prevent misunderstandings. That’s a good start.
Now, how empowered are your remote workers to do their jobs the way you expect them to?
Having unrealistic expectations is one of the quickest ways you and you team members will run into conflict. It’s your responsibility to ensure they have the tools to do their work properly. This also applies to maintaining the equipment.
Remember: Workers may not feel comfortable complaining about the availability or condition of equipment. Making this your responsibility will be beneficial to all parties concerned.
While on the topic of equipment: When last did you audit and upgrade yours?
A specific area you should consider revamping is your team communication methods. The last few years saw extreme development in communication technology, software and apps. Are you using this to your benefit yet?
Everything won’t work for everyone, so you have to search for what will work for your team’s specific setup. But here are a few ideas to get your thinking:
This is a prime example of why you need to continually reassess your remote worker management processes. You may not be aware of new tools that can improve it. Search the market, implement and enjoy the results.
Once you’ve upgraded communication, what are the topics you talk about?
Many managers only focus on the task at hand. Does that motivate, inspire and lead to optimum work delivery? This is where psychology plays a role and it’s up to you to utilize this power.
People dream of leaving a legacy and having purpose. A single task may not seem like a valuable thing to a worker. Have you tried discussing how that fits into the bigger picture?
Feeling important in the grand scheme of things is bound to lead to a higher quality workmanship and loyalty to a project to ensure the best outcome.
However, to make them feel part of this big project requires them to feel part of your team. When last did you gauge if your remote workers feel connected to:
Studies have shown that when workers feel connected to a company they usually showcase improved productivity, loyalty and quality of work. You can spark this through:
Above we mentioned micro management. This isn’t advisable because it often breaks down morale. Workers feel there’s no trust in their skills and it can even stop them from taking initiative.
So, here’s your challenge: Give responsibilities and trust their perspective. This is more challenging in remote working, because you won’t always be present to monitor their progress.
Here’s the good news: Many workers thrive when given responsibility and it can lead to them taking ownership & doing it better than you may even do it yourself. But first, you need to let go.
This isn’t how you’ve been doing it all along. But isn’t it time for a new season?